EMAUS Gift Appeal Gets a Kick Start At St James’ Gate

It was fun and fantasy at St James’ Gate, as cartoon favourites joined fundraisers to give the children of EMAUS an exciting start to their Festive Season.

“EMAUS Association” was founded in Alicante some 35 years ago, and works in collaboration with the Local Authority’s Social Services Department to provide shelter for some of the most vulnerable members of society, including victims of domestic violence, children and the elderly.

Its Children’s Care Homes sector provides homes for over 70 children aged from birth to 16 years, which are predominantly located in villages to the north of the Province. Due to increased demand, a new home opened in Elche during April 2009, which christened ‘Baix Vinalopo’, caters for a further 28 children, who are mostly teenagers.

The new home was immediately adopted by many expat associations and groups to become the beneficiary of their fundraising ventures. Annette and David English have assisted EMAUS Coordinators in forging links with the expat community and are regular visitors to the home, also taking the children out for day trips and meals.

They have championed the annual appeal for Christmas gifts, which is now well under way for 2011 and will mean that every child has something special to open on January 6, el Dia de los Reyes.

Owners of St James’ Gate, Torreta II, Sonia Yaniz and Marcelo Diaz are among those who are keen to support the campaign to bring Christmas to the children, and so, with a little help from Bar Maid, Teresa Doherty, hosted a huge charity fun day in their honour.

Annette attended the event on behalf of EMAUS, alongside of hundreds of generous business owners and fundraisers.

The fund had already received a great head start, with thanks to Teresa who has been busy selling raffle tickets and table top stalls for several weeks, also rallying friends and colleagues Bernie, Adam, Jeanette, Sonia and Michelle to participate in a 5 Km walk from the bar to La Siesta and back.

The group has raised a combined 400 euros so far, with sponsorship monies still coming in. Things were looking decidedly iffy on the day as rain threatened to put a dampener on things, but luckily held off long enough to stoke up the barbeque and entice people out!

Vibe FM Radio Station’s Neil Wylie, kicked off the event with a selection of popular tracks, making way for 16-piece band LA Concert, who had travelled from as far away as Aspe to support the event. Meanwhile, Charlie and Annie from Charlie’s Hair and Beauty Salon in los Altos del Limonar provided their own form of amusement.

The girls put their skills into practice on sporting victim, Nick, who had agreed to have his chest waxed and raised a very worthwhile 280 euros! Sylvia from Elite academy in Torrevieja joined them offering relaxing shoulder massages with all contributions being added to the fund. Entertainer Paul Heart took over the reins for the latter part of the afternoon and continued to keep music and karaoke lovers happy well into the night.

He was first joined by local Singer, Jon Summer, who wowed crowds with his powerful vocals, before making a space on the dance floor for the special celebrity guests, Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson. The children’s heroes were provided in conjunction with kid’s party planners “Happy Castillo”, and put some very broad smiles on little faces.

The party paused for only a short break, while supporters waited with baited breath for the grand prize draw. Teresa announced how grateful she was for the generous raffle prizes, which included a free dental check-up at Arches British Dental Practice in Ciudad Quesada, €30 euro voucher to redeem against any celebration cake from Cake Magic in Rocajuna, €15 euro voucher from Garbo’s Hair Salon, €15 euro voucher from CNS Nails, Free dog grooming from K9 Cuts, a bottle of brandy from Ann, and a fabulous 3 lite bottle of cava supplied courtesy of Generali Seguros in Elche.

At the end of a very successful and fun-filled afternoon, Teresa was proud to announce that almost €1,000 had been raised, with more money still coming in at the time of going to press.

She would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone that contributed to the success of the day and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

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